SO TAKE ME BACK: Presence

How many times must I stop to be reminded of God’s presence?

Life throws me in a whirlwind sometimes. One moment it’s a calm sunny day the next you’re spinning in your head trying to figure out your thoughts.

I’ve been thinking why I feel these feelings, why I want certain things and why I’m not satisfied with my current situation. Perhaps it’s because my life has been changing: people that come and go, situations that are always changing and consequences to those things. I’ve been thinking how they affect me and how I must deal with it: How do I come out strong? How do I come out a champion? What can I learn from these experiences?

Today I learned from two people and then received encouragement from a few key people in my life.

T.D. Jakes, “Keep the Change”: ‘The process begins with understanding how relentless and tenacious we must be in order to prevail over the adversity we confront. There is a mind-set of the champion that gives him an edge. It is his refusal to accept average or ordinary that puts him in a place of unprecedented distinction. In fact, there is a discipline and training that forever positions the gladiator as the winner he has meant to be. Once he has been programmed to succeed, he will ultimately rise to his highest and best self because he has been trained to win, conditioned to prevail, and called to be a conqueror. He has been positioned to be a winner, and even if he loses everything, he has that nebulous, seemingly indefinable gift of landing on his feet in shoes with silver linings.’ [Reposition Yourself – T.D. Jakes]

Okay, Sarah. You are in training to come out a gladiator, to come out your best self, to win any situation you are given. That also means you can conquer feeling lonely.

Joyce Meyer, “A Vital Necessity”: ‘If our thoughts are going to affect what we become, then it should certainly be a priority that we think right thoughts.

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

One of the best aids to freedom is asking God for a lot of help – and asking often. One of your weapons is prayer (asking). You can’t overcome your situation by determination alone.

Just as my physical life is dependent upon my vital signs, so my spiritual life is dependent upon spending regular, quality time with God…. Once I realized that right thinking is vital to victorious living, I got more serious about thinking about what I was thinking about, and choosing my thoughts carefully.’ [Battlefield of the Mind – Joyce Meyer]

“For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)

Okay, Sarah. You can’t do this alone, ask God for help. Think about what you are thinking about and choose carefully.

My friend/mentor Anouk always speaks life into me, she’s inspired me and planted so many seeds in me that are growing today. She reminded me this: All these things you’re facing is normal. It’s normal to want to be with someone but loneliness is different from finding someone to be with. Your source is God, people can give you happiness but your source of happiness comes from God. Loneliness is something you must work on through spending time with God.

Then I’m reminded yet again of God’s presence. How do I feel His presence? How do I know that He’s there?

If you were to ask me what my happiest memory is, one memory to pull out when I’m facing the hardest things in life, I go back to the beach where I’m lying down on the sand as a 5 year old girl next to my dad looking into the night sky. We sit there silent, next to each other, feeling like there’s nothing else in the world but him and I watching the stars shine.

This memory is so vital and so vivid because my dad showed me what the word ‘Presence’ means. When I look back with my imagination, I can literally feel my dad right next to me. I can see him, I can see the stars, I can feel the sand and I can feel the temperature of the cool night.

Fast forward to me grown up and facing the world on my own I now understand what it means to have God my Father next to me, what it feels like to remember that His ‘Presence’ is in my day to day life. I can close my eyes and I can see Him, I can trace His footsteps along the way in my whole day, I can feel Him walking with me, and I can feel His embrace.

I’m thankful. Thankful that God has given me such a beautiful memory of ‘Presence’. I’m thankful that today I had a great day by myself but realizing I wasn’t by myself. I’m thankful for the key people that spoke to me today. I’m thankful for my thoughts. I’m thankful for my situation. I’m thankful for the training, for the battle and for that which is keeping me in touch with Him. I’m thankful that while I’m facing hard situations I can see His Presence shining on all my circumstances. I’m thankful that He has filled me with joy and happiness in the midst of loneliness and in the midst of all this.

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